Love and Warm Support on a Sea Voyage
The journey of "seasickness"
On the night of January 15, 2024, delegation members got on Ship 924 and Ship 528 (Squadron 511, Brigade 127, Naval Region 5 Command). From Port 2, Brigade 127 (Phu Quoc), two ships departed for Tho Chu island (in Tho Chau commune, Phu Quoc, Kien Giang) - the first destination on the journey.
|On the night of January 15, 2024, delegations from southern provinces and cities, businesses, and press agencies boarded Train 924 to begin the visit, encouraging and wishing New Year to officers, soldiers, forces, and personnel. people on the southwest coast of the country.
"When I got seasickness, unable to take care of myself, I remember the navy soldiers who face waves every day. Few people are naturally accustomed to waves and wind. However, they have strived to overcome their limits. They must get used to difficulties so as not to be passive in every situation. They have to become accustomed to keeping their guns firmly to protect the sacred sovereignty of the sea and islands of the Fatherland. Those soldiers also gave us the strength to complete our tasks on the media front."
Editor Le Thuy, Bac Kan Radio and Television Station
Editor Le Thuy, Deputy Head of the Arts and Entertainment Department, Bac Kan Radio and Television Station, did not expect that she would get seasick on the voyager.
She said: "I have been to sea many times on ships, boats, and canoes and have never been seasick. However, this time, as soon as the ship left the port, I started to feel nauseous. On the morning of January 16, while working on Tho Chu Island, I suddenly felt dizzy. I saw someone carrying a first aid bag standing in front of me, I could only call out to him and then sit down. He quickly brought me to the military hospital on the island. They asked questions about my health condition, then gave me a health check, made ginger tea, cooked porridge, and gave me acupuncture. Before leaving Tho Chu Island, I asked the military medical staff about the cost of treatment and medicine. "The soldiers do not take money from the people," a young doctor said to me. His words always come back to my mind every time I recall those turbulent days.
My seasickness journey didn't stop there. On January 17, I got seasick on the way to Hon Khoai and had to lie still in my room. In a vague state of mind, I tried to hold on tightly to the deck with the thought that it would somewhat help reduce the feeling of stagnation. I was so tired that I could not get up, unable to do personal hygiene, unable to change my clothes. Officers and soldiers of Ship 924 often came to visit, some brought ginger tea, some brought cakes, and everyone encouraged me to eat and drink decently. In response to that kind care, every time I set foot on the islands, I tried to get up and continue my work with my colleagues in the press delegation.
|Editor Le Thuy, Bac Kan Radio and Television Station (3rd from left), and her colleagues when setting foot on the island.
On the last day of the journey, the ship docked at Phu Quoc port, I got seasick again and was transferred to Treatment Team 78 for IV fluids and medication.
|Soldiers of Ship 924 (Squadron 511, Brigade 127, Naval Region 5 Command) helped Le Thuy down to the port when the ship docked (Photo: Thao Huong).
Lieutenant, doctor Vo Tung Duong (Medical Team 78, Region 5 Command), who took care of Thuy said: "The ship shook due to big waves, so it was difficult to perform some steps, such as IV fluids. The patient has low blood pressure. One of her lowest was only 90/60 mmHg. I tried to stabilize her basic vital signs, injected medicine to correct vestibular disorders, and gave her electrolyte water to compensate for dehydration."
Overcome the waves together
Captain Cao Minh Hieu of Ship 924 (Brigade 127, Naval Region 5 Command) said that over 10 years ago when he was studying at the Naval Academy, he and his classmates had the chance to get on a ship to test the waves. Even though he had been trained on the swing bridge to prevent seasickness, Hieu still couldn't avoid that feeling. He vomited hard.
|The horizon tilts with each wave when looking through the window of the driver's cabin of Ship 924 on a rough day in 2023 (Photo: Minh Hieu).
According to Hieu, before the ongoing delegation, he and his teammates spent a month in the Southwestern sea. “The trip was only a few days ago but the sea was rough. The ship was like a leaf swaying in the middle of immense waves. From the driver's seat, I could see the horizon tilting with each wave, at an angle of about 30-35 degrees. At night, officers and soldiers on the ship also swayed to the rhythm of the ship's tilt. Sometimes, as soon as they fell asleep, they were awakened by the ship's shaking. Soldiers, even those who are accustomed to storms, felt fatigue, but then they all tried to overcome it to complete the mission," Hieu said.
|Hon Khoai Island military medical staff checks the delegation members' blood pressure.
For those who go to sea for the first time, such as Lieutenant and Doctor Ha Van Quyen (Treatment Team 78, Naval Region 5 Command), seasickness is difficult to describe in words. The journey of more than 100 nautical miles from Tho Chu Island to Hon Khoai Island on the afternoon of January 16 was warned to be difficult for Ship 924's members. Due to its far location and the strong waves and wind, the ship tilted and swayed. Most members of the group were seasick on the journey, including Ha Van Quyen. Trying to overcome the uncomfortable feeling, Quyen went to each room to check on each member. He gave health checks and medicine to people with severe symptoms.
|Meals carefully prepared by Ship 924 kitchen have all the nutritious dishes to energize the delegation members to quickly recover (Photo: Hoang Phuong).
On the way to Hon Khoai island, seasickness caused nearly two-thirds of the group members to skip meals. Officers and soldiers of the ship's kitchen promptly prepared hot porridge. In the turbulence, Professional Lieutenant Nguyen Trong Trung (Ship 924's Kitchen team) held the pots and pans tightly with one hand to prevent them from being thrown away when the ship wavered and stirred the pot of porridge with his other hand. In the shaking of the ship, in the faint smell of engine oil, the gentle aroma from the porridge pot spread throughout the kitchen like an encouragement.
|Professional Lieutenant Nguyen Trong Trung (left) kept an eye on the food while trying to hold the pots and pans tightly to avoid knocking them over when the ship tilted in big waves (Photo: Hoang Phuong).
Knocking on the door of room 109, Senior Lieutenant Nguyen Van Duan, Political Commissar of Ship 924, asked delegates from press agencies about their health conditions and quickly brought bowls of hot porridge to each person. "Sisters, try to sip this hot porridge to regain your strength," he said. At this time, many members of the room were lying flat due to seasickness. Many refused to try the hot porridge and asked for more plastic bags to relieve the nausea that was threatening to rise up their throats. Like a father taking care of his sick child, the young politician patiently and kindly encouraged everyone to eat even just a small spoonful of porridge. Receiving such affection, reporters Bui Thao (People's Army Newspaper), Hoang Phuong (VnExpress), and the members in the room in turn tried to get up. Duan's eyes lit up when he saw that scene. After waiting for his sisters to finish, Duan said goodbye and went to another room to check on them.
In the following days, all members of the delegation joined the meals. Singing, laughter, and laughter filled the deck like never before before. "Seeing our brothers and sisters recover so quickly, we are overjoyed," Duan said.
"The southwest sea is calmer in our ongoing trip. The waves are calm, but we can only rest until the ship safely docks, the crew members are healthy and safe," said Captain Cao Minh Hieu.
Returning to the mainland and thinking of the past voyage, I suddenly recalled the conversation between two members of the ship when talking about seasickness at Hon Khoai: "We can get drunk together, but we cannot share seasickness". A bowl of hot porridge, a look filled with concerns, words of encouragement, and efforts to ensure the safety of all members of the delegation...that is how officers and soldiers of the Regional Command 5 Navy shared with us. Together, we overcame the storms and completed the mission of bringing love and spring from the mainland to officers, soldiers, and people on the front lines of the Fatherland.
From January 15 to 20, 2024, the delegation of the Naval Region 5 Command, delegations of southern provinces and cities, businesses, and press agencies visited, encouraged, and wished the officers, soldiers, forces, and people in the Southwestern Sea of the Fatherland a happy new year.
The delegation visited and brought wishes to the Navy Region 5 Command and units stationed on Phu Quoc island; visited Radar Station 610, gave gifts to officers, soldiers, and forces on Tho Chu Island; performed the flag-raising ceremony at Radar Station 595 on Hon Khoai Island; cooked banh chung at Radar Station 600 on Nam Du Island; gave gifts to officers and soldiers on Hon Doc island. They came to burn incense at Tho Chau Temple on Tho Chu Island and visited the Memorial Temple for victims who died in Storm No. 5 in 1997 on Nam Du Island...
With the spirit of "For the homeland's seas and islands, for the homeland's front line", the group overcame difficulties formed by the weather and waves, bringing love and the scent of spring from the mainland to officers, soldiers, and the people on the front lines of the Fatherland. Through the voyage, delegates have the opportunity to better understand the current situation of seas and islands and see with their own eyes the daily activities, difficulties, and challenges that the officers, soldiers, and forces of the Southwestern seas and islands have to overcome when carrying out their tasks.
Overseas Vietnamese donated USD 63,500 for the “Greening Truong Sa” program.
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